BOROUGH BEAT: In the first of our new monthly policing columns, chief inspector Paul Ferguson talks neighbourhood policing and admits three years ago the force got it wrong.
I AM grateful for this opportunity to introduce the work of Rotherham’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
Through our monthly column, myself, along with neighbourhoods inspectors Jenny Lax and Caroline Bakewell, aim to keep you up to date with what’s happening in your communities.
In our first column, I want to talk to you about how we work and what our priorities are.
Many readers will know that in 2015, we brought together our dedicated neighbourhoods and response teams.
We did this in the face of multi-million pound funding reductions to continue to serve communities with less officers.
Subsequently, we found that that plan did not work as we intended.
When our new Chief Constable Stephen Watson joined us, one of his first requirements was to re-introduce neighbourhood policing.
We don’t have more funding and we don’t have more officers, so we have to use the people we have better.
This means putting in place teams of officers, working alongside our PCSOs, who are focused on problem-solving.
We are prioritising the people and locations where we can make most impact and we are already seeing significant improvements.
We have used antisocial behaviour (ASB) powers to put closure notices on a number of properties, successfully dealing with the family or individuals harming the neighbourhood.
Our demand has dropped, allowing the officers to tackle the next challenge.
We are jointly policing the town centre public space protection order, reducing ASB and targeting the issues that affect the town.
We are issuing criminal behaviour orders wherever appropriate, which mean that repeat offenders have conditions imposed to prevent further offences.
We have invested time and money in training our staff, in partnership with local authority staff, so that we work more effectively together to achieve more.
We currently have a number of operations running, including Operation Alligator, which aims to tackle ongoing ASB problems.
Engagement with the public is vital in this and all of our work.
If you haven’t already signed up for our SYP Community Alerts, which allows you to have information sent directly via voice alert, email and/or text message, please find out more and register at www.sypalerts.co.uk.
You can also follow us on Twitter @RothCentralNHP, @RothSouthNHP and @RothNorthNHP, while each of our neighbourhood areas has a dedicated Facebook page.
Sharing what is happening on your doorstep is the key to effective policing.
We are here to listen and learn from you and target what we do, in line with the concerns that you raise.
Our teams across the borough look forward to working with you.